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Why Is Play with Siblings and Peers Important for Children's Development?

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Play is the natural, most helpful and influential way which helps children to learn things, cope with situations and manage their feelings. It helps them to build relationships and to develop. Different types of children's relationship are important in their development, as each has their own ability to provide distinctive experiences. These types of the relationships are the relationships that they have with their parents, their family and with peers. In this essay we will examine the nature of the relationships they have with siblings and peers through playing and how important are these interactions for their socially and emotionally development. Conflicts and disputes in these interactions as well as co-operation and collaboration are discussed in order to understand better these relationships and the skills that children learn through these relationships.

Children's relationships have two different types: the complementary relationships and the reciprocal relationships. These relationships differ from each other in terms of the balance of knowledge and the power between interactions. Complementary relationships are the relationships in which there is a difference in knowledge and social power between children and the individuals they are interacting. Reciprocal relationships are the ones in which there is a similar knowledge and social power between individuals. Peer relationships are reciprocal relationships as they characterized by similar levels of knowledge and power, and siblings relationships can be either complementary or reciprocal. These two types of relationships are influential for the children's development as they share activities that teach them skills such as resolve conflict and co-operations, which help them to create their social understanding and to impact their social development. In order to understand better the importance of this interactions and play we will focus on some types of play and interactions.

In 1984 Fein recorded a pretend play between 3 ½ years old children (Dracula monster-monster-vanishing Hero study) which involved play fighting and chasing, and did a qualitative analysis and he illustrated how the two children were repeatedly negotiated their roles, instruct each other what to do or to say and often switch from play to non-play, which shows that the play involving children can be seen as a skilled interactional achievement. Smith et al. (1999) argue that important social skills are accomplished and developed by the ability to understand signals (play- non play), regulation of emotional and physical displays, turn-taking and consideration another's view. ' Dracula game' showed how a thin line exist between play and conflict and Smith et al. suggested that presence/absence of laughter is one way to understand the difference of the play. He also said that 'cheating' occurs when a play partner can be used to display dominance or increase statues within the group. In Pelligrini's study(2003) of adolesencent's rough and tumble play, in which observation and interviews used, two key points about dominance and aggression are raised. The first is that when thinking about developmental significance of rough and tumble play, the age of the children is important as the meaning of such interactions change with age. The second point is that there are gender differences too (even when at the same age) boys engage in R&T to emphasise dominance, and girls regard it as playful, possibly as an early, low-risk form of heterosexual interaction. Another suggestion from Smith et.al (1999) was that even the negative phases that the children experience can be constructive for adult life. Also children's playground experiences are important to understand the significance of play. In these kinds of contexts conflict incidents occurs such as: bullying or aggression so it is important for children, adults to teach them how to manage these situations. In peer relationships in child development important role plays the culture, the gender differences and the emotions. Maccoby noted that boys play is more frequently towards aggression, which appears to confirm commonly held assumptions about the differences of how boys and girls interact (conflict versus consensus). But there is clear evidence that girls do take part in conflicts and disputes. It is the discourse style that differs

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